Somerset Boots receipt saves Devon rocks pair

An Italian couple who got stranded on rocks in Devon were saved thanks to calling the number on a Boots receipt.

Oberdan and Patrizia Cosimi and their dog were stuck on the rocks at Lynton and did not know the 999 emergency number.

So instead they called the only other number they had - on a receipt from Boots in Minehead, Somerset.

Boots worker Pat Askwith, who answered the call, called 999 and a rescue helicopter airlifted them.

Mrs Askwith, 57, said: "I picked up the phone and the signal was so bad I thought it was a hoax at first.

"But it became quite clear that it was not. The signal kept going, so I called 1471 to get their number.

Couple 'lucky'

"After a couple of calls back and forth because of the signal I called 999.

"They were lucky they had bought something from us a few days before."

The couple and their spaniel were airlifted to safety by a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose during the incident on 4 June.

And the pair, who have now returned to their home in Pisa, dropped into Boots to thank Mrs Askwith with some chocolates and an invitation to join them in their home country.

Mrs Askwith said: "The second I heard their voices I knew who it was.

"Knowing the emergency service number is not the first thing you think of when you visit a foreign country, but I will definitely take more interest in it now."

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